Tuesday, 20 April 2010
On this day...
Edgar Allen Poe's short story 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' was published in 1841. Claimed to be the first detective story, Poe was paid $56 for the work, an unusually high sum, seeing as 'The Raven' fetched only $9. Forerunners of detective fiction had included Voltaire's 'Zadig' and E.T.A. Hoffmann's 'Das Fräulein von Scuderi', yet Poe's work is widely credited as establishing the genre.
The story follows protagonist Dupin and his 'exercise of ingenuity in detecting a murderer', as he examines the brutal killing of two women in Paris. Said by many to have 'changed the history of world literature', the work has since inspired characters such as Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, and Agatha Christie's Poirot.